Initially unconfirmed outside the pages of The S*n and the Daily Mail (and Twitter speculation), but apparently “multiple” Chelsea players are currently in isolation after the initial round of COVID-19 testing was conducted following everyone’s return from the brief summer break.
All of the players who had gone on holiday outside the UK went to places that wouldn’t have required them to quarantine upon returning to the country, or left as soon as those regulations were changed (like in the case of France).
UPDATE: The Times have joined in now as well, claiming in their Thursday edition that “a number of Chelsea players have not returned for pre-season training after testing positive for Covid-19”.
These tests were conducted ahead of the start of preseason training, with those testing positive placed in the government-mandated 7-day period of isolation — so the rest of the squad seem to be unaffected. Pictures that have been released so far from training certainly show plenty of familiar faces. The Times’ report puts the isolation period at 10 days, plus at least one negative test.
The S*n have named names, which we won’t repeat. The Times have not, nor have the Mail, but they do claim that “more than four Chelsea players are isolating after testing positive for COVID-19”, which isn’t exactly great. The Mail claim that Chelsea have actually “confirmed” this, though I haven’t seen anything of the sort.
As with the testing during Project Restart, the secrecy around these results isn’t really helping and is just leaving more room for speculation. Obviously, there are privacy and health concerns about all this, but even just a little bit of official information could be useful in clearing things up.
It’s also unclear if these Chelsea results were part of the reported 14 positive tests from all around the league last week.
On the plus side, maybe this sort of fallout from international travel will get FIFA to delay this silly international break coming up.